Tuesday, August 04, 2009
i love loveasa(lavasa)
i took a short holiday after a long time.it was to a place which i might like to visit more often.a four and half hour drive from mumbai,it is the new free india hill city.i had heard about it from our daughter l and read about it in newspaper ads but came to see it for the first time.it is astonishing.it is awe-inspiring.it is amazing.the vision and the execution of the developers of this beautiful and nicely ensconsed hill city. at 2000 feet above sea level,this 25,000 acre land,lakes and hills terrain is the closest to a worldclass hill station you could get to. it is called lavasa.
based on the principles of new urbanism,lavasa(2500 feet above mean sea level) is about 200kms from Mumbai.we took the mumbai-pune expressway which covers about 140 kms of the total distance.the major portion of the remaining distance is on an excellent road built by hindustan construction company(HCC) who have developed this beautiful hill station. set amongst seven hills like sheffield in uk and tirumala in andhra pradesh,lavasa covers 25,000 acres of lakes(60 kms of lake front) and hills out of which HCC plan to develop 12,500 acres.lavasa is one fourth the size of mumbai and equivalent to the size of paris.it is being designed on the lines of a worldclass hill station by an american company.tieups with premier national and international institutes are being planned.ITC have set up a four star hotel.when completed around 2020 lavasa is expected to have a population of about 2 lakhs.by 2010,davase,the town in the the first phase of the project would be ready.
l had booked four rooms at the "ekaant" which has a capacity of 20 rooms.it has elegant and spacious accomodation,a well-equipped garden for children to play,a conference hall and restaurant with a breathtaking view. it was drizzling most of the time but we did get the breaks at the right time to explore the place and do some motorboat riding.there are many watersporting options like jetskiing,kayake,etc.we went to their hightech 'introduction' room housed in a huge building where we were shown 3D visuals of lavasa followed by a visual presentation of the upcoming hillcity. later we took a busride around downtown to see the new villas and apartments which were in various stages of construction.we also had a look at a sample flat out of many apartments available for booking(about 25,000 are expected to come up).perched as it was at a height of nearly six storeys, l must have wondered whether her old man would really make it to the sample flat.running alongside the waterfront, a beautiful promenade is being built with stylish cafes,boutiques,fancy eateries etc.you feel as if you are in some posh european resort.
on the whole,it was a calming,tranquil,soothing and refreshing experience. with no noise and no air pollution.of course, the whole stay was not hunky dory. we had a fair share of hassles. like our grandchildren falling a bit sick on the second day and yours truly suffering from a heartburn triggered by hyperacidity and followed by a stomach upset.all of us took it in our stride and did not allow it to dampen our enthusiasm. had our stay been longer we would have had the time to explore more of the flora and fauna that lavasa is supposed to have.it seems there are many rare birds which visit this place during winter.there is, as they say, always a next time.perhaps this coming winter.we will do it again.